Synth-pop pioneer Thomas Dolby announces U.S. tour; check out our two-part interview

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Thomas Dolby is set to embark on a 26-date North American tour this March — with a rather unusual vehicle in tow: A time capsule.

The Time Capsule Tour follows Dolby’s critically acclaimed album A Map of the Floating City, and the groundbreaking transmedia game he co-designed. The new time capsule, a chrome- and brass-plated road trailer that seats three, boasts a complex electrical wiring that could have been designed by Nikola Tesla. It very much resembles a Jules Verne/HG Wells-inspired time-travel machine, with a modern twist: Inside is a high-tech video recording suite that allows a music fan or guest artist to upload a personal video message to the future.

The time capsule will be parked in the street outside each venue on Dolby’s month-long North American tour, and in front of select local radio and TV stations. It will capture hundreds of 30-second clips over the course of the tour, assembling them into an online video montage.

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: Thomas Dolby joined us for an SER Sitdown to chat about what’s turned out to be a fascinating career in music, video games, media and … “science!”]

Fans will be able to walk up and step into the time capsule to make their own fully produced and effected digital 30-second video clip. The clips will then be automatically uploaded and viewable on a brand-new YouTube channel along with the individual user’s own Facebook and Twitter pages. The most viewed clips will win prizes. Dolby’s label Lost Toy People Records is in discussion with several potential sponsors for the project.

“If you had 30 seconds to explain to an alien visitor what went wrong with our civilization, what would you say?” Dolby says in press materials. “Our species may not be around on this planet much longer, so you might as well leave a welcome message for the next guys!”

[ONE TRACK MIND: Thomas Dolby talks about writing a tune with Michael Jackson in mind, his role in hit music by Foreigner and Def Leppard and the unjustly ignored genius of Prefab Sprout.]

The Time Capsule Tour kicks off at SXSW in Austin, TX, March 12-17, and will take in 24 U.S. cities and two in Canada. A full list is at Dolby’s Web site, while news, merchandise and additional perks are available at the Flat Earth Society fan club. Anyone joining before January 31, 2012, will earn a free download of an exclusive three-remix Dolby EP entitled Return to Oceanea.

Here’s a look at scheduled dates for Thomas Dolby’s upcoming North American tour:

Fri., March 16: AUSTIN, TX, SXSW
Sat., March 17: NEW ORLEANS, LA, Tipitinas
Sun., March 18: ORLANDO, FL, Social
Mon., March 19: BIRMINGHAM, AL, Workplay (Seated)
Tues., March 20: ATLANTA, GA, The Loft
Wed., March 21: GREENVILLE, SC, Handlebar
Fri., March 23: ANNAPOLIS, MD, Ram’s Head
Sat., March 24: PHILADELPHIA, PA, World Café
Sun., March 25: ALEXANDRIA, VA, Birchmere
Wed., March 28: SELLERSVILLE, PA, Sellersville Theater
Thurs., March 29: NEW YORK, NY, Canal Room
Fri., March 30: NORTHAMPTON, MA, Iron Horse
Sat., March 31: RIDGEFIELD, CT, Ridgefield Playhouse
Sun., April 1: MONTREAL, QC, L’Astral
Mon., April 2: TORONTO, ON, Mod Club
Wed., April 4: DETROIT, MI, Royal Oak
Thurs., April 5: CHICAGO, IL, Park West
Fri., April 6: MINNEAPOLIS, MN, Cedar Cultural Center
Tues., April 10: VANCOUVER, BC, Rio Theatre
Wed., April 11: SEATTLE, WA, Showbox at the Market
Fri., April 13: SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Red Devil Lounge
Sat., April 14: SACRAMENTO, CA, Harlows
Mon., April 16: SAN DIEGO, CA, Anthology
Tues., April 17: LOS ANGELES, CA, Largo

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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